British soldiers who have served in Iraq may face prosecution for crimes including murder, the head of the unit established by the Ministry of Defence to investigate allegations of torture and unlawful killing in the war-torn country has said, The Independent reports.
In his first major interview, Mark Warwick, a former police detective in charge of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), told The Independent that he believed there would be sufficient evidence to justify criminal charges.
The Independent reports: IHAT’s caseload of allegations of ill-treatment or unlawful killing by British forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 has risen tenfold since it was established. In 2010, it was dealing with cases involving 152 victims. It is now dealing with more than 1,500 victims, according to Ihat’s latest quarterly update. Of these, 280 are victims of alleged unlawful killing by British forces in Iraq, but more than 200 of these cases have yet to be investigated, with just 25 under investigation.
The Independent notes that the UK also “remains under the scrutiny of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is conducting a preliminary examination of allegations of war crimes by British forces in Iraq.”
“The ICC is looking at more than 1,200 cases of alleged ill-treatment and unlawful killing,” the paper reported, “including almost 50 Iraqis who reportedly died in British custody.”